Home News Nurses on strike on December 15 and 20 in the UK, for the first time in 106 years

Nurses on strike on December 15 and 20 in the UK, for the first time in 106 years

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British nurses will go on strike on December 15 and 20, an unprecedented movement in 106 years, which illustrates the seriousness of the social crisis in the United Kingdom with strikes in many sectors not seen in decades.

‘The nurses have had enough’summed up Pat Cullen, General Secretary of the Royal College of Nurses (RCN) Federation. “Enough of the low wages, […] Tired of not being able to give patients the care they deserve. »

sequel after announcement

In the UK, “It will get worse, this winter, there will be deaths!”

The crew voted on November 9 for this unprecedented strike in the history of the RCN, which was created 106 years ago. This union announced Friday, November 25, two days of work on December 15 and 20 thereafter “Rejection of negotiations by the government”.

Real wage has fallen by 20% since 2010

According to estimates, the real salary of nurses has decreased by 20% since 2010, especially due to the current cost of living crisis, with inflation exceeding 11%. The annual salary of a junior nurse is £27,000 (€31,400).

But for Health Secretary Steve Barclay, “It’s a difficult time for everyone.” And the government could not meet the demands “unbearable” From RCN, which “Represents a salary increase of 19.2%”.

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One in four hospitals have set up food banks to support staff, according to NHS Providers, which represents hospital groups in England.

sequel after announcement

“We are exhausted. We are fed up. We need a raise to live.”She voted in favor of the strike, Amira told AFP, a nurse at a London hospital.

47,000 vacancies

Nurses oppose the strike, fearing that mobilization would harm patients. But for Amira, who refused to give her name, “It is the British government that is manipulating the health of patients by not increasing salaries”.

She talks about Covid, her colleagues who lost their lives there. “And why? Just to get the government and the world to applaud us.” ?

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The strike comes as the public health system, which has been underfunded for years, is plunged into a serious crisis. The government has announced a £3.3 billion increase to the NHS budget for next year and the year after.

sequel after announcement

According to the RCN, in England, there are 47,000 nursing vacancies. Last year, 25,000 nurses or midwives locked their door. Poor wages are contributing to staff shortages across the UK, affecting patient safety.Condemns the union.

More than 7 million people are waiting for treatment in English hospitals, which is a record number.

Strikes in many sectors

But the social movement isn’t just hitting the health sector. Many public and private sector employees, from lawyers to airport staff, have also gone on strike this year.

In Scotland, teachers went on strike on Thursday 24 November to demand increases. University staff also stopped work on Thursdays and Fridays, a move that affected some 2.5 million students.

sequel after announcement

Postal workers have extended their strike through 2023, which could affect mail and package delivery during the holiday season.

Transport is also affected. The London Underground was paralyzed by an extremely popular movement on 10 November. The railway workers have announced several days of work between now and the end of the year and the first week of January. Officials also announced a social movement.

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